MULWANDA LUPIYA, Ndola & ALEX NJOVU & CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
ZESCO United will be without star striker Jesse Were during Tuesday’s Confederation Cup Group C match against Angolan side Recreativo Libolo.
Were sustained a muscle injury while on Kenya duty during last weekend’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone in Freetown.
Were has netted three times in the Confederation Cup.
Midfielders Kondwani Mtonga and Anthony Akumu were left home due to suspensions.
Mtonga has accumulated two yellow cards while Akumu saw red when Zesco beat Libolo 1-0 in Ndola on June 4.
Zesco media and public relations officer Katebe Chengo said in Lusaka yesterday that Were is recuperating and will be available to face Egyptian side Smouha on June 30.
Zesco are leading the group with six points, two better than Sudanese side Al Hilal Al Ubayyid and Smouha while Libolo have three points.
Zesco coach Zlatko Krmpotic has selected goalkeepers Jacob Banda and Lameck Nyangu.
Defenders are Dauti Musekwa, Fackson Kapumbu, Ben Banh, David Odhiambo, Marcel Kalonda, Bernard Mapili, Simon Silwimba and Bornwell Silengo while Misheck Chaila, Mwape Mwelwa and John Ching’andu are midfielders.
Strikers are Jackson Mwanza, Idris Mbombo, Dave Daka, Patrick Kongolo and Lazarus Kambole.
And Krmpotic has urged his charges to be focused ahead of the match against Libolo.
“We are going for a win. We want to collect maximum points in this fixture but if we can manage a draw, it will go a long way in ensuring that we meet our set targets of qualifying to the quarter- finals,” said Krmpotic in an interview at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka yesterday.
Krmpotic said the next two games will determine Zesco’s destiny in the competition.
“Our two games are very important starting with the fixture on Tuesday and the trip to Egypt to face Smouha.
“These are important games, we need to pick something from these games so that we can progress to the next stage,” he said.
Krmpotic said he will miss Mtonga, Were and Akumu but challenged the replacements to show quality.
Skipper Jacob Banda said: “We are targeting all the three points on Tuesday. We are ready for them.”
Meanwhile, Zanaco assistant coach Dabid Chilufya says Cameroonian side Coton Sport will not be underrated in Wednesday’s CAF Champions League Group D match.
Chilufya said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the Bankers have left nothing to chance in their preparations.
“We have set our goals. All we need is a win then we will definitely qualify to the quarter-finals of the competition. We are not eyeing a draw or anything less than victory. What we are avoiding is a game of calculations.
“Because once we lose against Coton Sport, we will be under pressure to record a win against Al Ahly when we host them,” he said.
Egyptian side Al Ahly and Zanaco have seven points apiece but the former have a better goal aggregate. Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have three points while Coton Sport are winless.
Chilufya, however, said the Bankers will miss the services of midfielder Zimiseleni Moyo, who is injured.
Zanaco are expected to leave for Cameroon in the early hours of today.
Goalkeepers: Toaster Nsabata, Racha Kola, Mangani Banda,
Defenders: George Chilufya, Taonga Bwembya, Ziyo Tembo, Chongo Chirwa, Peter Banda, Andrew Kwiliko
Midfielders: Boyd Musonda, Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga, Diddy Kitumbo, Richard Kasonde
Strikers: Felix Nyaende, Damiano Kola, Saith Sakala, Adamson Mulao and Attram Kwame.